StockMarketWire.com - Associated British Foods said that it expected a sharp decline in Primark revenue after sales slipped 75% in the third quarter owing to store closures during the lockdown.

'Nearly all Primark stores are now trading again and we estimate that, absent a significant number of further store closures, adjusted operating profit for Primark, excluding exceptional charges, will be in the range £300-350m for the full year compared to £913m reported for the last financial year,' the company said.

For the full year, the company expected strong progress in the aggregate adjusted operating profit of its sugar, grocery, agriculture and Ingredients businesses.

For the 40 weeks ended 20 June 2020, revenue was 13% lower than the same period last year at constant currency and 14% lower at actual exchange rates.

The weaker performance in retail offset stronger performance in its grocery and sugar businesses, both of which were up 3% for the quarter, while retail revenue fell 75%.

As expected, Sugar delivered a material improvement in profit in the quarter driven by our European businesses.

'After the cash outflow in the third quarter, we expect the group to return to cash generation in the final quarter. With Primark trading again, our current expectation is that the year end net cash balance, before lease liabilities, will be in excess of £750m,' it added. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com